Olisa Metuh's Handcuffs And Buharism

When the embattled National Publicity Secretary of the People's Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh appeared at the premises of Federal High Court in Abuja in handcuffs over financial crimes on the 19th of January, I wore a big grin on my face as I starred at the computer screen viewing all the pictures. My state of mood had nothing to do with my support for the Muhammadu Buhari-led anti-corruption campaign or personal hatred for Olisa Metuh and his opposition party. I was lost in a philosophical outlook of the handcuffs. The handcuffs symbolizes the underlying power play in the prosecution of Mr. Olisa Metuh. Again, I thought about his appearance on the front-pages of Newspapers across the country with overgrown white beards.

I thought about the psychological effects of the handcuffs on his family as this is a symbol of shame and ashes although he is yet to be found guilty of the allegations levelled against him. What about his fellow critics in the PDP like Chief Femi Fani Kayode, Deji Adeyanju and Governor Ayodele Fayose who have sworn that Buhari will not sleep beside Aisha Buhari smoothly?

Those handcuffs were more than a mere restraining element. The handcuffs constitute an element of humiliation and a warning shot to other corrupt officials and their attackers. The All Progressives Congress only needed a picture of Metuh on handcuffs to send encrypted messages to their 'targets'. One doesn't need to be a spiritualist to understand the essence of those handcuffs. The fact that people like Kabiru Sokoto, a suspected member of the Boko Haram sect who masterminded the Madala bombing in Niger state on Christmas day in 2011 was arraigned in court without handcuffs confirms the Federal Government's involvement in the issue. What about Aminu Sadiq Ogbuche linked with the Nyanya motor park bombing in Abuja, Raymond Dokpesi, Nnamdi Kanu (who threatened to break the Igbo nation away by an act of war) and Sambo Dasuki? They walked freely without handcuffs. Why should the case of Olisa Metuh be different? Is it because He is Olisa Metuh? Or his criticisms were that threatening to the Buhari administration?

A PDP sympathiser in my office was infuriated at the sight of Olisa Metuh in handcuffs. He screamed ''Buhari is just a dictator'' He swiftly called the attention of our Chief Editor to the pictures. As usual, our Chief Editor showed indifference. He responded thus:

''Do you know my friend in Ajegunle, Lagos was handcuffed and whisked away by the police for insulting his Landlord after which he holidayed in the police cell?

"There is nothing new about handcuffs, the only difference here is that a politician is wearing one''

 According to an explanation given by an official of the Nigeria Prison Service, Kuje in Abuja in the person of Francis Enobore (a Spokesman) where Metuh was held, he reiterated the rationale behind the handcuffs which he vaguely explained depends on the discretion of the prison officer who supervised Metuh's court appearance. The officer is lawfully backed to use the handcuffs on the basis of the nature of the environment he meets. He claims most times, the handcuffs are to 'protect' the accused and not only to prevent him from escaping. Maybe on this ground, its safe to safe the NPS was doing Metuh a favour.

 Several Nigerians have taken sides on the handcuffs issue. After reading the official statement of the PDP's National Secretary, Professor Wole Oladipo condemning how Metuh was restrained on the Vanguard Newspapers website, I scrolled to the comment section and I saw Nigerians conventionally firing attacks of words among themselves. One comment that caught my attention was that of one reader who said Metuh is a criminal and he should see nothing wrong in wearing the full costume of his new status. The controversies trailing the usage of the handcuffs engulfed me in deep thoughts and my perception about the handcuffs started to change.

 The usage of handcuffs on accused people isn't a new phenomenon in Nigeria but the masses found it strange on the hands of an eminent Nigerian. This goes a long way to explain our mentality of the Nigerian judiciary as it tends to favour the wealthy and influential class unlike the lower class.

This poor orientation has unconsciously eaten deep into our perception of the judicial system which called for the fuss about the handcuffs. If someone that steals a mobile phone at Ikeja Under Bride in Lagos state can be lynched with onlookers recording the gory event with their phones by taking pictures and videos for the blogs without any attempt to stop the barbaric act, then we should sit back and watch the Buhari-Metuh drama play out to our free entertainment.

 What dignity and respect could be accorded to a supposed leader that received a whooping sum of N400 million from a former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for an 'assignment' he has refused to disclose? What could that assignment be? Did Metuh discover a viable means of fighting Boko Haram or solving the puzzle of youth unemployment in Nigeria and resurrecting the dead victims of their onslaught? Or did he discover the location of the leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau and the abducted Chibok girls? I don't even want to venture into the allegation of him tearing his written statement at the Economic and Financial Crime Commission's custody and eating it to destroy the evidence as it is still in court.

 The issue of handcuffs exposed the level of mental slavery we have suffered in Nigeria. We have bought into the mentality that there is a separate unofficial constitution for the rich. Popular Nigerian musician, African China sang a song that portrayed the inequality between the rich and the poor in Nigeria. As part of the lyrics of the song, he said ''rich man wey steal money, em nor dey show imm face for crime fighters, but poor man wey steal money, em dey show imm face for crime fighters''

 You remember the era of Crime Fighters programme in the year 1999 during the days of former Inspector General of Police, Musiliu Smith when apprehended armed robbers and other criminals were televised on Nigerian Television Authority, NTA? They were always chained like animals and paraded with severe bullet wounds and disabilities from gun fire injuries for stealing household materials like Television sets, Radios and other cheap commodities. I am not trying to justify stealing but what the general public have failed to understand is that stealing through the use of a pen is more fatal than that of a gun. In fact, armed robbery and other vices aimed at survival is a degenerate of an act of theft with a pen. We have failed to read between the lines because the corrupt officials have bought our loyalty with their loots.

 Boko Haram grew to become the world deadliest terror group in the year 2014 with a record of 6,664  according to the Global Terrorism Index. This soiled the name of Nigeria in the international community with the kidnap of over 200 Chibok girls that are still missing today. Furthermore, the sect has killed over 17,000 Nigerians since it started operations in 2009. This group has rendered over 2 million Nigerians homeless in the north-eastern part of Nigeria. We got series of assurances and diplomatic talks from the government after every fatal attack that led to the death of our loved ones. Our soldiers famed to have a history of an unbeatable military strength on land started running from the not well-trained members of the Boko Haram sect like civilians. Breadwinners were made to fight the sect with virtually bare hands. Even when they cried out about the inadequate weapons, they were court-martialed for cowardice. Fathers started dropping dead one by one leaving their families with dashed hopes. It was a cul-de-sac for the Nigerian soldiers. They saw their deaths and couldn't avoid it.

One man named Sambo Dasuki who was National Security Adviser woke up and saw the menace of Boko Haram as a way to siphon money for the furtherance of his selfish interests and that of his power-hungry folks. He allegedly sought for the approval of $2.1 billion dollars and diverted into the presidential election campaign of Goodluck Jonathan while Boko Haram enjoyed a field day sucking human blood. The hearts of men are indeed evil.

 I want to believe the arms deal scam doesn't exist and its President Muhammadu Buhari's creation like Olisa Metuh and Ayo Fayose said, but where did Olu Falae of the Socialist Democratic Party, get his N100 million from? What about the Accord Party Chieftain, Rashidi Ladoja in Oyo state? Former PDP Board of Trustees Chairman, Tony Anenih nko? What about Tanko Yakasai? Haliru Mohammed and Buhari's friend, Jafaru Isa? The magic money that appeared in the company account of Metuh's Destra Investment Company? At least some of these people haven't denied receiving money.

Will it be safe to accept that there is a secret tree in the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja that sheds money at night, from which the received funds were raised? These politicians should stop insulting the over 170 million Nigerians. The fact that they employ the smart move of stealing our votes every 4 years with the same tactics since independence doesn't make us fools. People's empty stomachs have only beclouded their reasoning and it takes strength to take a definite stand.

 I saw the group photograph of soldiers maimed in the battle against Boko Haram insurgency. Some of them lost their hands, others legs and a couple were confined to wheelchairs. I had to lie to myself that it wasn't real to prevent an emotional break down. These victims will look at their old pictures and shed tears. A limit has been put to their economical inputs in life. A wife will wake up to see a physically-challenged husband that always needs help in his daily activities. Same with a child. A man who is physically fit and intellectually sound is still being fooled by the Nigerian economy not to talk of the one with disabilities and responsibilities.

Their story could have changed if the 'Yam-eaters' took the right decision. I thought Goodluck Jonathan conceded loss at the presidential election because his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. What about those that died in the alleged diversion of the commonwealth?

Have you ever thought about the reason for Jonathan's silence despite the viral and continuous reports on the Dasuki largesse that took place during his administration? Its simply because there is nothing reasonable to say. His silence is irritatingly loud. On this note, don't you think the entire body of Metuh should be wrapped in chains next court appearance if we are to ignore the principle that only a court of law can determine his guilt or innocence and not the media?

 On President Muhammadu Buhari's anti-corruption war which is seen as a personal vendetta against his political enemies, I have my concerns too. Truthfully, Nigerians wish people like former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former Governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Head of State, Abdusalami Abubakar,  Minister of Transport, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and maybe Minister of Power, works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola could be sacrificed in the anti-corruption crusade. It sounds odd that only the PDP is corrupt knowing fully well that even the highly esteemed APC is like a subset of the PDP as aggrieved former PDP members founded the APC.

When Buhari's close ally, Brigadier General (retired) Lawal Jafaru Isa who was the Military Administrator of Kaduna State from 1993 to 1996 was arrested by the EFCC due to his participation in the arms deal saga; Buhari's critics were dealt a huge blow. Some expected more names of other APC chieftains to follow suit but the abrupt exit of Jafaru Isa from the anti-graft scene after making a refund of N100 million out of N170 million without more names from the APC circle coming up, they raised eyebrows.
Now here is my question, can we ever have an impartial battle against corruption in Nigeria knowing fully well the demands of election campaign and support? Should Buhari led go of corrupt politicians because he needs to be impartial? Sincerely my answer is NO! That move is rather retrogressive to me.

 Realistically, corruption and Nigeria seems inseparable. Its like the case of a mosquito sucking blood from a man's scrotum. The man in question needs to apply wisdom in order not to hurt himself in a bid to desperately kill the audacious mosquito at the rare spot. Buhari's corruption battle started suffering setbacks during the election campaign period. Some politicians assumed to be corrupt by the social media saw the future and secured their lives by offering Buhari financial support and gifting him their followers secured with their loots. The election competition was unusually keen. It took desperate measures for victory to be secured. The most difficult thing is for you to beat the fingers that fed you.

Some of these corrupt individuals don't even want any contracts or political appointments from Buhari; all they want is their corrupt records covered for life so that they can have their peace. I don't see Buhari going after these people sincerely. It may amount to shooting himself in the leg.

So do we tell Buhari to abandon the anti-graft war which is eating Nigeria deeper than the menace of Boko Haram insurgency after an eminent person like the Secretary of State in the United States of America, John Kerry gave Buhari's anti-corruption campaign a mention at the world Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland?

Even John Kerry alleged that world loses  a sum of $3 trillion to corruption yearly. I leave my readers with my last question and I urge you people to put the future as well as the general will of the masses in mind before providing an answer.
Share on Google Plus

About Osahon

I'm a journalist and a Political Scientist undergoing a doctoral programme focused on media, democracy and governance in Africa. My mission is to uphold the role of the media as the 'fourth estate of the realm' and also tell the Nigerian Story to the world. You can contact me on smile2georgex@yahoo.com Phone number: +2347053302356.
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a Comment